The Defund2Fund Coalition is a diverse collection of Calgarians - made up of Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, Non-People of Colour and 2SLGBTQ+ organizations and individuals - who share a vision of a more resilient, more humane Calgary.
We call on Calgary City Council to reallocate funding from the Calgary Police Service (CPS) budget to communities.
Black Lives Matter march in Downtown Calgary, June 3, 2020. Photo credit: Jon Yee
Our coalition is seeking a 30% reduction to the CPS budget, to be reallocated throughout our communities, to rebuild trust, and to rectify systemic barriers in the financial capacity of Black, Indigenous, other racialized communities and 2SLGBTQ+ people. Reallocation of a portion of the CPS budget is supported by CPS. Chief Mark Neufeld told Calgary City Council that, should they reduce police responsibilities, “then we can certainly divert the dollars.”
We couldn’t agree more. Here are the facts:
CPS’s most recent yearly officer contact statistical report for 2018 states that approximately 30% of calls involve vulnerable persons (i.e. individuals experiencing homelessness, mental health challenges, etc.).
Municipal funding for Calgary Police Services increased in 13 of the last 14 years.
In September 2020, the CPS confirmed that it supports "reallocating resources from [its] existing budget to work with community partners to develop alternative ways to respond to Calgarians in crisis".
We know there are more humane, cost-effective ways to support vulnerable persons. Let us re-allocate the police budget to organizations that can more safely and justly address these issues. Our coalition is seeking a 30 percent reduction of the CPS budget, to be reallocated and reinvested strategically into the community.
Please sign our petition and follow as we fight together for a more resilient Calgary.
About the author
Courtney Walcott is a high school teacher in Calgary and a member of the Defund2Fund Coalition.
Defund YYC – Black Lives Matter YYC - Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation – YYC Black Town Hall – The United Black People’s Allyship Movement – The Black and Indigenous Alliance AB – The Colour Factor – RAAR - Rural Alberta Against Racism – Black People United – Blackfalds Against Racism – Vermillion Unites for Equality – Canadian Voices Against Racism - RDAR, Red Deer Against Racism - Project Calgary